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Stormwater OutreachPerson filling glass of water from a rush of clear water

Community outreach and public information, play a vital role in the success of the Stormwater Program.  Since the stormwater collected in the streets and catch basins flow untreated to our waterways, it is vital to prevent pollution at the source.  Waterways become polluted when pollutants such as used motor oil, antifreeze, paints, fertilizers, pet waste, soapy water, and pesticides, are washed into the storm drains.  It is the number one source of pollution in our nation’s urban waters today.  Storm drains were designed to collect only rain and clean water runoff to prevent flooding during storms. 


Never dispose of leaves, grass clippings, trash, oil, paint, chlorinated (pool) water, or any other type of pollutant into the gutters or street catch basins.  Rake the leaves, dirt, and debris from the gutter in front of your home to help prevent clogs that can lead to flooding.  Never place filters or screens in front of storm drains as this can lead to clogs and increased flooding. 


Stockton Municipal Code (SMC) 8.04.210, prohibits the deposit of any recyclable material, green waste, garbage, rubbish, or waste matter on any street, alley, gutter, park, or other public way, vacant lot, water or waterway, or on levees.  Anyone caught dumping may be cited and fined according to SMC 13.16.Article V.430.


There are many ways we can do our part in keeping our local sloughs, rivers, and the Delta free of debris and pollutants.  The Stormwater Program offers volunteer opportunities, educational material, videos, informational press releases, and a variety of tips to residents and businesses for preventing pollution at the source. 


Tips for Businesses


Tips for Residents


Volunteer Opportunities

Stream Clean-up

Join volunteers from the local high schools, University of the Pacific, Delta College, Friends of Smith Canal, Friends of Five Mile Creek, Friends of the Calaveras River, Little Friends of Duck Creek, Boy Scouts, and others, who have organized Stream Clean-up Project.  By lending a helping hand, these stewards of the environment have made a positive impact to our water quality.


Organize a class project, get members of your civic group or club, or just get a group of concerned neighbors together for a few hours to clean a waterway near you. 


California Coastal Clean-up

Join thousands of volunteers who participate in the annual California Coastal Clean-up on the third Saturday in September.  For the last five years, more than 500 Stockton residents, students, and businesses have participated in this annual cleanup event along waterways throughout the community.


Stenciling Program

Did you know there are more than 20,000 storm drains in Stockton?  Think about all of the debris and pollution that ends up in those drains; then think about where those drains flow.  That's right - it goes into our local sloughs, rivers, and to the Delta.  Stenciling the storm drains with "No Dumping - Flows to Delta" reminds people about what goes down those drains.


Stenciling storm drains is a great community service project for youth organizations, civic clubs, a group of friends, or all by yourself.  The Stormwater Management Program will provide paints, stencils, and a map of where Stockton storm drains are located.  Take a day, a week, or as long as you need to stencil as many drains as you’d like.  If you or your group stencils 100+ drains, you can receive special community recognition from the Mayor at a City Council meeting.


Green Car Wash Program

The “Green” Car Wash Program seeks to link local fundraising organizers with participating professional car wash operators in an effort to encourage a more environmentally-friendly car wash.  Traditional parking lot car wash fundraisers often allow soap, dirt, grime, and automotive fluids to flow down the streets to drains that dump directly into rivers and streams.  When these materials settle into waters where fish, wildlife, and plants live, it poisons them. 


“Green” car washes are a better alternative for the environment because they encourage organizations to partner with professional car wash facilities that recycle water and do not dump dirty soap water down the storm drains to local waterways. 


In addition to protecting the environment, “Green” car washes are very profitable for both fundraisers, as well as the professional car washers.  They are safe and very appealing to those who are interested in supporting local organizations, because they get their car professionally washed.  More information can be found in our "Green Car Wash Program PSA" (10/13/10) in the City's Video Archive.


Stormwater Pollution Prevention Educational Material

Through a 35-minute interactive presentation, students will learn the importance of stormwater pollution prevention.  They will learn about the water cycle, the earth’s limited supply of water and how our water is “recycled.” They will get an overview of the difference between storm drains and sewer drains.  Students will gain a better understanding of the wastewater treatment process and its similarities to the way nature cleans our most valuable resource...water.


There is no charge for this program designed for fifth-graders and it can help teachers meet the science component of the California Content Standards for fifth grade students.  The program includes a brief video presentation.  Each student will receive a stormwater activity booklet and sticker.  Each classroom will get a packet of water information and supplies, along with a copy of the “Go With the Flow” stormwater video.  If you prefer not to have a presentation, the materials can be provided for your use in the classroom.


Community Presentations

Do your students, employees, church parishioners, civic group, or club members need a better understanding of the importance of our storm drain system to our water utility?  Educating the community is the first step in working together to prevent stormwater pollution and protect our local waterways.


Representatives from the Stormwater Outreach Program are available for community presentations on pollution prevention.  Whether using a watershed model display, power point presentation, or just a short overview, your group can learn exactly how storm drains work and how pollution gets from our streets and neighborhoods into surrounding waterways.


Earth Day Festival

Each year in April, the City of Stockton joins with the Peace and Justice Network to sponsor the annual Earth Day Festival.  The day is filled with activities to promote environmental awareness.  The Festival is held at Victory Park, where more than 70 vendors are on hand with educational material, interactive displays, music, crafts, and general information to promote environmental awareness.


News and Information


For additional information on these volunteer programs, please contact the Community Outreach Coordinator.



External Links

Stockton Municipal Code (SMC) 8.04.210 - Stockton Municipal Code regarding Illegal Dumping

Stockton Municipal Code 13.16.430 - Stockton Municipal Code regarding Administrative Enforcement Powers for fines of Illegal Dumping

Manage pests while protecting our water at Our Water-Our World

Additional Educational Material at River of Words

San Joaquin County Household Hazardous Waste

This City of Stockton web page last reviewed on --- 8/15/2012



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